Monday 19 June 2017

An Interview with WO FAT

It's always good catching up and talking to Wo Fat. They've been one of my favourite Swampedelic Doom/Stoner Metal bands for the last few years now. Currently in the middle of a US Tour with their new bassist - Zack Busby. 

i was given the chance to catch up Wo Fat and discuss how things are currently going with the band. New Album plans and their involvement with the forthcoming movie Planet Of Doom.

Ladies and Gentlemen - It's time for WO FAT....

HI guys. Thanks for doing this interview. Long-time no speak. How are things with you all at the moment.

Thanks. Things are great. We are going out on our little US tour with our new bass player, Zack Busby, who is kicking ass and the band sounds great.

You’re about to go a mini-tour of the USA. This is perhaps your most extensive you’ve done in a long while. Are you all excited for this tour.

We are excited about it. We don’t do a whole of touring, especially in the US, so we’re looking forward to getting out there and reaching some new fans and seeing some friends we haven’t seen in a while. We are heading through the Midwest back to the east coast to play at Maryland Doomfest, which should be pretty killer.

I’ve seen you guys in action a few years ago when you played in London. For people who haven’t had the full Wo Fat swampadelic experience. What can people expect from your forthcoming tour.

As you said, I think they can expect a swampadelic experience of riffy heaviness. As I mentioned, we have a new bass (he’s been playing with us almost a year, but since we haven’t really toured in that time, it will be a new thing even for people who have seen us before because he brings a new vibe and level of heavy to the band. I think the live groove with the band is heavier and harder than ever. We’ll be playing some songs from Midnight Cometh as well as from previous albums.

The tour is finishing at Maryland Doom Festival. Are you headlining that festival or just playing a regular set there.

We are just playing a regular set, but we’ve got a pretty cool spot in the lineup. It’s a killer bill that we’re honoured to be a part of.

Will you be looking forward in seeing other bands perform at that festival. If so which ones are you looking forward to.

Most definitely looking forward to seeing a number of other bands on the lineup. Unfortunately we’ll only be there for Saturday (the day we play) so we’ll miss a lot of great bands but it will be great to see Earthride, The Skull, Bang, The Watchers and Iron Man to name a few. Hopefully we can get into town early enough to hang for most of the day. That’s one of the cool things about playing festivals like this – getting to see a bunch of rockin’ bands.

Your home-town of Texas certainly has a great upcoming Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal scene with loads of great bands coming out. You’ve produced and recorded a few of these cool bands over the last few years. What is the scene actually like in Texas. Is there a good vibe around the entire Rock/Metal community. What are your thoughts on the scene yourself.

Texas has a thriving scene of bands in the Stoner/Doom genre. I would say maybe one of the strongest in the US in terms of the amount and quality of bands from all over Texas. Austin has always had a great scene for this music with lots of support from fans and of course, a whole slew of killer bands, but the rest of the state I think is catching up to that. In Dallas-Fort Worth, even though we have a good scene of bands, it’s been harder to build a solid and supportive fanbase, but that I think is changing for the better a bit recently and Houston is definitely on the rise. 

There are so many great yet diverse bands within the scene around the state and everyone is supportive of each other as far as gigging and getting the word out. We’re doing this tour with The Well, who is one of the many bad ass bands from Austin, but from around the state there’s also Duel, Mothership, Switchblade Jesus, Las Cruces, Maneaters of Tsavo, Gypsy Sun Revival, Dirty Seeds, Doomstress, Blues Funeral, Amplified Heat, Crypt Trip, White Dog, Sweat Lodge, come to mind immediately.

It’s been a year since Midnight Cometh was released. Another great album that won plaudits all over the place. And your first for Ripple Music. Looking back were you pleased the responses the album received.

Very pleased. It’s always hard to know how an album will be received because it’s hard for us to step back and get an objective take on a record after we finish it. We felt really good about it but there are a few different things going on and ideas that we tried that. We weren’t sure if people would dig it or not. Ripple and their PR machine has done an awesome job with promotion for the record.

How are you feeling being on the extensive roster that Pope and Todd are currently building up.

That was honestly one thing we considered before signing with Ripple. We saw that they were making really good choices and building a really solid roster and I was thinking a couple years ago that they were a label on the rise for sure. It’s cool to be a part of the roster for sure.

Wo Fat have always known for being quick workers when releasing albums. Have you started work on the new album yet.

Ha! We’re a little behind schedule on this one. We have tried to keep releasing new albums or even splits every 16 months or so, but we’re still a way off form a new record at this point. We were so busy with other stuff for most of this last year that we just haven’t been able to focus on writing new material, but that is the plan for the rest of the summer after the tour.

If so what can people expect from it and when will it be out. Or is this too soon to tell.

I think people can expect some new sounds and vibes simply because of the high level of musicianship and the new groove that Zack brings to the table as a bass player and I think we all have some song ideas in mind that venture into different territories from what we’ve done before.

I feel like it may be a dark record though because it’s a very dark time for the US right now, and really the world as a whole.

You guys are now considered legends or elder statesmen of the Doom/Stoner Metal scene. Does it surprise you that upcoming bands hold you in high regards as major influences on their music.

That does surprise me honestly! It’s a humbling thing for me to think about. We have had the opportunity to meet and play with a number of bands that I still consider legendary, which has been awesome. But I also take inspiration from so many of the new bands on the scene too. It’s a good time for stoner rock right now.

You are part of The Planet Of Doom movie that’s being released next year. How did you become involved with that.

We’ve worked a lot with David Paul Seymour over the last couple of years. He did the album art for both Midnight Cometh and our live recording from Feak Valley Festival, Live Juju and he’s also done a couple t shirt designs for us so we’ve become friends and when he asked us to be a part it, we were of course “hell yeah!” The whole concept is so cool and being a fan of Heavy Metal (both the magazine and the movie) the idea of kinda recreating a similar vibe with amazing artists and bands is awesome.

I’ve spoken to a few bands about this already such as Vokonis and Slomatics. Have you seen the finished segment that you’re providing the music to. 

No, not yet. I can’t wait to see it though. The short clips that I have seen of the film look mighty cool.

Have you recorded a new song for the film.

We have. We actually wrote Of Smoke and Fog for the movie and we loved the song and how it turned out so much that we ended up putting it on the last record as well.

Well guys thanks for doing this interview. Much appreciated. All the best with the US tour. Before you go do you have anything to say to your fans.

Thanks for all that you’re doing to support the scene worldwide and get the word out about bands. It is much appreciated.

I’d like to also thank everyone that comes to shows and rocks with us. Hope to see you on the road:

Words by Steve Howe and Wo Fat

Catch Wo Fat currently on tour with The Well.

6-17 Blue Note – OKC
6-18 Riot Room - Kansas City, MO
6-19 Reggie’s – Chicago
6-20 Taps Live – Indianapolis, IN
6-21 Northside Yacht Club – Cincinnati, OH
6-22 Kung Fu Necktie, Philadelphia, PA
6-23 Bar Matchless, Brooklyn ,NY
6-24 Maryland Doomfest

Thanks to Curtis at Dewar PR for arranging this interview and to Wo Fat for taking the time out in doing this interview.